What we have is a continuation of the Jagdeo presidency
JANUARY 8, 2012 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER LETTERS
New administrations are like new years; a time for change, a time for getting rid of the old and ushering in the new.
A new government gives the new chief executive an opportunity to appoint a new team, stamping his own personal imprint on the way forward.
It has been over one month since the Ramotar led PPPC government has been in office, and apart from the new Drum Major, the same old band of Jagdeoites keep marching on.
Recently, some have been quick to heap praise on the new President for meeting with the opposition, reinstating a right (that should have never been denied) to a journalist, sending Henry Greene on leave, and appointing a few Guyanese of African heritage to the Diplomatic Corps.
In the Deep South (USA) there is an old saying; “putting lipstick on a pig, don’t make it a lady”. I agree that some small cosmetic peripheral signals have been sent by this administration, but any objective observer has to admit that at its core, the personnel and political culture is still unchanged, and what we have is a continuation of the Jagdeo presidency.
Anyone who followed last year’s election knew that it was a referendum on the Jagdeo presidency; corruption and nepotism within the halls of power. On November 28th 2011, the Guyanese people soundly rejected Jagdeoism and gave the opposition a parliamentary mandate to effect change on their behalf.
One would have expected that in light of the results of the elections that Donald Ramotar would have chosen to go in a new direction with his own team, setting new standards and sending a signal to the people that he had heard them. Instead what we are stuck with is the same mediocrity that garnered a vote of no confidence by the people.
One month ago on the 6th December 2011 several APNU demonstrators were shot by police while engaging in a peaceful march. To date there has been no inquiry into this matter and the nation is still awaiting word from the Ministry of Home Affairs and/ or the Office of the President.
Given the Jagdeo template that is being used by President Ramotar, I am sure that the victims of this police brutality like the 400 plus killed during the troubles, will receive no justice. We have a Police Commissioner in Henry Greene who is once again embroiled in scandal, Greene is way past the retirement age, and many would say he is like a product that has past it’s “sell by” date.
This was a perfect opportunity for the President to send Greene into retirement appointing his own Commissioner, but instead Greene is allowed to proceed on leave with the possibility of returning to the force after investigations are completed. Clement Rohee, Robert Persaud, Ifran Ally, Leslie Ramsammy, Roger Luncheon, Kwame McCoy, Odinga Lumumba, these are all Jagdeo’s men, all of them with checkered reputations, all extremely polarizing figures who created much of the negative attacks that were hurled at the PPPC on the campaign trail. Yet Mr. Ramotar chose to retain these men, even elevating Robert Persuad to a Mega-Ministerial portfolio (in effect rewarding the architect of the PPPC’s failure to win a parliamentary majority at the polls).
Leslie Ramsammy is a man who is yet to account for his association with imprisoned Drug King Pin Roger Khan, but he is retained and given a new portfolio. Juan Edgehill a controversial commission chair and another man with close ties to Jagdeo and a less than stellar reputation has been appointed a Minster in the ministry of finance.
Mr. Editor I mention these things because the signs I see are troubling and not encouraging. The president’s failure to address the shooting of citizens is troubling to me. The Home Affairs Minister’s failure to ensure that at least a police board of inquiry was convened to examine police policy and procedure and make sure that ranks acted within the letter of the law, is troubling to me.
Having Mc Coy, Lumumba and Luncheon still stalking the corridors of power at the Office of the President, All of these men were extremely controversial figures in the Jagdeo regime and their retention should be troubling to all Guyanese.
Are we to believe that the pool of talent in the PPPC is so shallow that Ramotar is stuck with the Jagdeoites? Guyanese voted for change on November 28th, they voted overwhelmingly for a reversal of the old way of doing business, they expected to see a new team on the field fighting for them.
One can only hope that the new president will slowly retire the Jagdeo team and usher in the Ramotar era. Failing to do so will be like putting more lipstick on the pig; it will never be a lady.